A Politics for U.S.

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“If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time or die by suicide.” – Abraham Lincoln

Politics runs through all we do. This humanest of conditions is no less admirable nor abhorrent today than ever but it has become a reviled element of society, commonly viewed as beneath polite discussion.  However ignored or deified, the consequences of politics and the subsequent political reality still fall on the informed and uninformed alike.  Cast into the shadows, as a snowy Denver sidewalk encumbrance, politics evolves. It forms in the darkness for the inevitable prestige.

The human invention of our political system has become a degradation.  We cursed ourselves the day rational, passionate, Political belief became a social taboo.  Fear and emotional instability have bestowed us with the gift that is our present state of political affairs.

Contradictions abound as the unknown unknowns mount and even those with driver’s licenses don’t vote with any exuberance.  Genuine individuality bows to the perpetually offended; disintegrated integrity and the stranger dignity invigorate public discourse and rhetoric. It was simply an inevitability that opportunists like Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton would move to the forefront of American politics.

Politics demands we get the leaders we deserve.

As the daily attack ads, emotionally-driven controversies and all over jackassery ensue, average citizens engage in the field as would-be political scientists and the truth disintegrates into a subjective force.  Emails warn of disarmed militias, women baking again while foregoing careerhood, #alllivesmatterexceptyoursbecauseyouhavestuff, y’all back in chainz, and virtual canine genocide.  In the midst of this remember: Obama came, he will go and we remain. For now.  And we have the critical task of electing one of “our own” to lead.  This person will undoubtedly transform our global future for years beyond the given term(s). Several Supreme Court Justices will surely vacate those seats, ISIS will force a reckoning and the domestic political divide will continue as it does.

And Politics demands we get the leaders we deserve.

Find a presidential candidate that does just that. Presidential activities, leader of the free world and so forth.  International relations, global power, military action and foreign policy are dominant at the executive level and these are the activities that require the action of a president.  Congress deals in legislation and the president does submit a budget that is regularly ignored.  Leadership on a global scale, not the status of local Planned Parenthoods or the activities of the NRA matter to a legitimate Commander in Chief.

Single social issues superficially simplify the process but do not constitute a legitimate cause for concern on a presidential level… for the most part.  Abortion, gay marriage, legal weed, gun rights, et. al., etc., etc.  As with any third rail of american politics, these issues see various changes at the margins but concentrated interests, the Supreme Court and states rights will drive change.  Presidents are rather limited as to the power and, quite simply, time or effort it takes to garner enough support to take our guns, outlaw pot again or see abortion doctors behind bars.

Focus on the iceberg, not the taste of the champagne: an economy subsisting on disgruntled foreign labor, discouraging domestic enterprise while falsely and faultily making financial promises for the future feasibility of me, you and Uncle Sam cannot long last.

Our houses, shops, parks and local amusements, both public and private, are regulated and taxed on a local level much more so than by the good folks in Washington. These bureaucracies employ thousands of workers that you never voted for and yet establish and enforce public policy.  Engage with local elections, school boards and the men and women making decisions that affect life on a day-to-day basis; literally in the front yard.

If nothing else: learn who represents you!  Local and federal senators and representatives; governor, mayor, Supreme Court, etc.

Because Politics demands we get the leaders we deserve.

Personally, I’ve disagreed with everyone I have ever met on at least 16% of all things concerning life, the universe and everything.  Applying that same basic ratio to presidential candidates means that my very best, ideal, perfect, have-my-cake-and-eat-it-too, top hat, friendly joke telling, baby-kissing, karate-chopping, concealed-carrying, Chuck Norris of a candidate would still piss me off about 16% of the time!  May not seem like much, but over eight years, that’s quite a bit for someone I “agree with.”

Think on the political parties as teams with ever-changing players.  They are no longer established members with a rigid set of core beliefs.  Parties tend to start that way then diffuse as the tent expands.  Republicans and Democrats need strong, devoted members just as the Broncos strong players.  Whether or not we get a one-in-a-million or a dime-a-dozen depends in part on the decisions and focus of the other members of these teams but no matter what happens next year or next season, players and politicians must play ball.  Ideology is about ideas, politics is about winning elections.

Political teams are not friendly adversaries. They have and always will exist as ideological rivals engaged in allegorical combat in the realm of ideas for the collective destiny of free-thinking (and unthinking) people everywhere.  Active and opposing discourse is healthy and ought be encouraged as soon as children can speak (along with gun safety.)  Opposing ideas will be brought forth and a republican-style government will enact or reject reform.

Rational, legal, AND compassionate conversations (ugh!) will occur when we define terms and establish goals.  We then begin to address economic issues and potentially avoid our own Greek tragedy.

The system is designed to work slowly, painstakingly at times, in order to avoid sweeping reforms and declarations such as offering mass amnesty to all immigrants or interning lifelong American citizens.  The modern politician makes a living off the exploitation of the ignorance of the populace on this very issue.  Claims of a “do-nothing congress” or “playing politics” are meant to give the impression that but for the actions of the inept and insane political opposition, the nation would be a better place.

All would be fixed if the plain-bellied Sneetches would do what their star-bellied counterparts know is best.

Come together for the good of the country!

Won’t somebody think of the children?!?

Ideological differences are rooted in fundamentally opposing views on nature and the human condition (see Sowell’s work “A Conflict of Visions”.)  Fundamental beliefs on authority and perfection on Earth clash.  Clarity and substance fade as rhetoric increases.  Each side openly admires aspects of Lincoln, Kennedy, the Roosevelts and Reagan, as leaders to emulate and claim that those historical and ideological powerhouses would support whatever cause du jour happens to be on the docket today.

The nature of human history is penduluminous. All apotheosized feelings of pride regarding enlightened achievement trudge forth, shackled to the omnipresent defects of human character.  Such shortcomings then serve as the basis of ideological opposition or critique; and every politically platitudinous bromide.  The elephant and donkey enhance the perception of the other as politicians stumble through words to make us believe we need them.

And Politics demands we get the leaders we deserve.

Black, white whatever, Politics is interested in you.  Pick a side, join a team and come in for the big win.  We need devoted Constitutionalists and the opposition parties.  Care about the right, the future and your own place at this point in history, blessed to be a part of the most benevolent of superpowers the world has ever known.  Learn about more than the impassioned hysteria of the New York Times or Fox News and know that you will never agree with anyone on everything but that the perfect ought not be the enemy of the pretty darn good.

If you want a candidate that fits all your needs, see a priest. For the good of those of this world however, inform yourself and vote.

“Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”

– Luke 20:25, NASB

A Viking Funeral (Ode to Blair Walsh)

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Blair Walsh is presently the kicker for the Minnesota Vikings football team.  He recently missed a 27-yard field goal at the end of a playoff game.  The Vikings lost to the Seattle Seahawks 10-9.  Walsh had previously kicked field goals for every one of the Vikings nine points.

A light is lit

A smile revealed

The hope for a future still waiting concealed

Prayers and tears

Triumphs and defeats

Through them all kept going, kept moving my feets

As a part of a team

I have a job to do

And the others have jobs that they have to do too

Win or lose

Pain and gain

We bleed

We lead

Time and time again

And again and again

Glory and fame

Fighting the battles, securing our names

The work has been done

The journey well tread

The moment has come, the time it is set

Chance and luck

Fortune and fate

Best laid plans and intentions…

You step right up and do what you can

Your job, your best

But no matter the plan…

The hopes of a town

The goals of a team

Hearts broken, eyes watered

The death of a dream

In that dark time

The nothing comes out

To devour the hope, leaving hurt throughout

I could have done more

I should have played less

Fought harder, faithed stronger

Lived better, worked longer

Then things would be perfect

The dream would be true

Life would be fair

For both me and you

Cause things, they ain’t perfect

But dreams do still come true

Sometimes they just look funny

Like a cat wearing shoes

So never forget the work you have done

The person you are

An important someone

Deserving of love

Of peace

Happiness

You are that human

Who has lived through it all

Worked hard, had fun

Seen hardships, stood tall

Some things go right

Some things go wrong

But in every game

Always walk strong

Do the absolute best job you know you can do

And live the life you want you to do too

Succeed or fail

Light or dark

The nothing can’t kill

A smile in the heart

—-

I also encourage your to read this from Theodore Roosevelt on the difference between those who do…

The Man in the Arena

 It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

A New Year

Happy New Year 2016 replace 2015 concept on the sea beach

One more year has come and passed,

Our lives go on, these days of future past.

As we tread this world we share,

It spins no matter how much we care.

So as I go, I think on things,

And here’s those thoughts on things thought on.

For the years ahead,

I wish you peace

I wish you love

I wish you all the best from this world and above…

 

THE THINKLIST

Look each other in the eye for uncomfortable lengths of time.  Bonds will be forged.

Smile unwillingly.  The internal effect is astounding.

Watch Die Hard, It’s a Wonderful Life and WALL-E.

Forgive.

Always say a proper goodbye.

If the police ask to search your car, it’s because you have a choice; they won’t ask if they could just do it.

Use sunscreen.

Never sell the tickets, always go to the game.

Shovel the snow and brush off your car before it freezes.

Wear hats and dress like it matters.

Make yourself smile.

Relax in traffic, we’re all there anyway.

Read.  A book.

Learn to enjoy dancing or you may never get to dance.

Use the good stuff; get rid of the crap.

Vote.

Believing is seeing and faith without works lies dormant in its sleep.

Be nice to the dog, bother the cat; don’t be shy to talk to the owner, as well as the pet when walking by.

Watch Disney movies with a simple mind.

Love.

Be prepared.

Check your oil, tires and anti-freeze; know how to change a tire.

You get what you pay for.

Legality is not permission nor a reason to do or not do anything.

Know why you know what you know and absolutely know that you don’t know anything.

Take a look at yourself and make the change.

Do unto others.

(As much for myself as anyone else. Happy New Year.)

Jesus Saves

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Walking the streets of downtown Denver, the unmistakeable sights remind me why I love this city.  Coors Field, Elitch’s (from a distance), the cash register building and Union Station.  Some may also be aware of a little nook around Lawrence and Park Avenue West where the neon lights shine bright.   Here, at a place called Jesus Saves, the local street folk live from day-to-day.

Homelessness, like the appendix, has become an accepted part of the human condition.  Sometimes it can be cut out should conditions become too inflamed but, for the most part, people either do as they see fit to ease the condition or ignore the situation entirely.

However, dealing with these conditions on a public scale is a different matter.  When our leaders call for states to begin accepting homeless refugees from halfway around the world, I must take pause to wonder why no call has been made for the states to refugee-ize the current homeless population?  A few other questions persist as well…

Where are the refugees actually going?  Where are these vacant dwellings that suddenly become available in the state of Colorado when out-of-country-ers need a place to stay?  The resources that the refugees will consume, and the tenements that they will occupy must be supplied by those in the state of Colorado and the greater United States.  So why are officials dictating how we ought to deal with the foreign homeless problem when there’s one right down the street, with no end in sight?

There’s no bombs going off but gunshots do ring out and some will die because of those bullets.  People freeze, they drink, they shoot up and sleep, and it would be hard for me to honestly say that I don’t believe that the lives of those living around the Jesus Saves are not regularly at risk.

So, make with the housing, the food and the medical supplies that are currently on reserve!

It isn’t that there should be no refuge for the weak and weary or those attempting to flee the hell-on-Earth that exists in parts of the Middle East.  But when there are Denver-ites, and by extension Americans, who are apparently without, why is there no active movement to assist on par with what’s been done in response to Syria? The likes of the governors and our presidential brother’s keeper should be all over this.  Right now, calls should be ringing out for all states to allow those living on the streets to come in from the cold to the apparently safeguarded refugee hideaways.  The food, clothing, tools, EBT cards, medical care etc. that is being evaluated for any foreign refugee could be immediately directed to any street person currently living in the United States and preferential treatment will be given to those who can show a history of any military service.

Here is a story from CNN with the best layout of the refugee process that I could find.  It’s not a very clear road ahead and I find it quite intriguing that the UN is the directorial body on such events, presumably subordinating the United States to any decree regarding the where-to’s and how-to-fore’s of the refugee process.  Such bureaucratic olive-branching maintains the status quo of obscure policy-making and enforcement on such economic and social issues.

Meanwhile, the promise of the Lord keeps the streets alight at night in Denver, Colorado.

Trump’s Trump

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I like that what I see is what I get with a man like Donald Trump.

Far too many and more to come are the pleas, scare tactics, veiled threats, and appeals to good nature, all ending with that benign moderator of all elections: the request for a personal contribution.   Such contributions come from myriad sources that in turn face various forms of regulation.  And both major political parties recognize a need for campaign finance reform (they do differ on what needs to change) and that financial mismanagement can paralyze a campaign (see Scott Walker).

But the money simply is and will be in politics.  As voters, or potential voters, we have become accustomed to the well-to-do candidates asking an electorate of mostly not-as-well-to-doers for personal campaign contributions in the name of peace, freedom, social justice and so on ad nauseum.  And here is where our thinking is done for us by our benevolent benefactors:

Democrats ask in the name of the environment because we love the Earth and in the name of education because we love the kids.  Republicans come to save the unborn children, as we must be their protectors, and they promise to cut taxes because, hey, it’s our money right?

The campaign letters, emailed with such personality that they no longer feel like candidates but friends (slight gag), would have me believe my worst fears should I not give all I can:

Abortion-geddon, 99.9% rates for both taxes and carbon emissions while white males are the ones running the diamond mines where minorities and children slave the day away having left the mothers, wives and mistresses barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen when they left their one room shanties at daybreak.

But then there’s Trump.

In every presidential election there’s a bunch of millionaires trying to tell us what they think we want to hear about what they think we care about.

But then there’s Trump.

The professional public servants tell us how they can fix Washington, even though most of them already work there.

But then there’s Trump.

Now, I do maintain that no Donald will be the next President of the United States, or even the Republican nominee.  But there is profound liberty in a candidate that is not a candidate by nature and seeks no funding from me (yes, donations are accepted, he’s not stupid).  One who views issues and cultural shifts without first considering a deferential stance towards the media or any particular social group.

I believe that despite his callous behavior, Donald Trump cares for this country and has an active interest and unique capability to affect its future.  He states his beliefs on relevant and not-so-relevant topics, offending some and reaching others.  Sifting through the spin can be a chore and all voters should note that media outlets are well aware of the prejudices held by the public at large against a man like Donald Trump.

He is a character, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t serious.  And perhaps that’s the most appealing trait of all.  Trump’s concern is genuine, and people begin to care about what you know when they start to see how much you care.  Regular old politicians have hidden agendas and are notorious for being, well, politicians.  It truly is a sad state of the state for the statesmen and women of our day.

But then there’s Trump.  He has his controversies and defects of character, but these must be weighed against the prospect of a President Clinton (pronounced Frau Blucher). He has the money, the time and the present support to reach millions and impact our system on a relatively substantial level.  And he has the “chutzpah” to reach for that truly-American dream thought by many but never deemed realistic:

I can be the President of the United States.

#RadicalIslamistitis

isis-logo“If God be for us, who can be against us?” – Romans 8:31

There are people in this world that want to kill you.

You can be nice and sweet and lovely and liberal… and you will still be put to death.

Profess your love, your compassion, your forgiveness… and you will burn alongside the most hateful reprobates nevertheless.

It does not matter that Americans have thrived in a society based in freedom where all citizens have the ability to pursue multiple religious teachings in order to find spiritual guidance.  This group tolerates no dissent.

The group itself exists as ISIS, ISIL, IS or simply radical Islam.  The followers are known as Islamists and, quite aptly, fanatics who engage in various subversive and terrorist activities to achieve religious global dominance.  These actions can be openly barbaric, such as beheadings and immolation, or disobedient on a civil level such as blocking major streets in prayer and establishing so-called “no-go zones” in non-Muslim countries.  And in Dearborn, Michigan.

Google these words and explore their definitions in the context of Islam, radical or otherwise:

Jihad, infidel, caliphate, halal and sharia.  Learn about the process known as Islamization.  Here, every aspect of society is directed and governed based on an interpretation of the Quran, handed down by those in power.  See what Islam, not radical Islam but the theocracy that exists, looks like in Iran, Saudi Arabia or Pakistan for women, Christians and homosexuals.  Learn of the distinctions between Sunni and Shiite Muslims and how internal conflicts between Islamic groups affect the tensions felt the world over.  See how Muslims in all different nations feel about implementing Islam as the governing theocracy in our previously democratic societies.

Whether an accurate interpretation or a wild fantastical delusion, radical Islam is a very real religious system and people are going to die because of it.  We live in a nation where I can decide what I believe and what I call myself as far as my religion.  It strikes me as only fair to extend the same courtesy to anyone claiming to be a Muslim.  My religion, and common courtesy, teach me to leave the judgment of others, especially as it pertains to faith, to God alone.  But if it quacks, call it a duck.

Now, there is absolutely no doubt that most practicing Muslims are not involved in any form of threatening activity whatsoever.  As one teen notes, he cannot be held to account for ISIS anymore than I can and this demonstrates the very real distinction between radical and peaceful Muslims.  And Islamists are not currently taking over the world, Europe or our nation.  Not even close. But they are expanding because no one has stopped them.

The problem with the current politically correct American approach is that the considerations that our society has taken to respect the beliefs of others is now being used as a weapon against us.  The radicals can blend with the moderates and claim religious persecution right up until they blow up a Starbucks on the Sunset strip.  But, at least we can rest assured that all those half-caff soy latte lovers didn’t die in the name of the true interpretation of Islam.

That is still alive and well…

Presidential Candidates 2016

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The best way to find out the truth is to settle for nothing less.

Here are seven of the presidential candidates who, in my assessment, are significant in terms of the impact that they could have on the election of 2016.  The names have been arranged alphabetically, no hierarchy intended.

Click on the names to connect directly to the campaign websites for each individual.  You can find info, statements on particular issues, and all the political propaganda you can handle!

Take the time to learn more about these people, regardless of their party affiliation.  For better or worse, these men and women represent the chosen few, some of whom will lead us into the next phase of U.S. history.

Ben Carson – Renowned neurosurgeon, non-politician and, relevantly, African-American.

Bernie Sanders – Senator from the state of Vermont, self-declared socialist

Carly Fiorina – Businesswoman, CEO and also non-politician

Donald Trump – Need I say more?  Probably… sure to follow.

Hillary Clinton – Ditto Trump

Jeb Bush – Former Governor of the state of Florida, brother and son of former presidents

Marco Rubio – Young Cuban senator from the state of Florida.

Rand Paul – Libertarian senator from Kentucky, son of previous presidential contender Ron Paul

Ted Cruz – Conservative to the hilt, the first Hispanic American to serve as a U.S. senator representing Texas.